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Go Ahead, Prove the Negative
Date:11/8/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was written by Frankie L. Trull, President of the Foundation for Biomedical Research:

Opponents of animal research are seeking to stimulate a debate where none exists, but their illogical arguments have flatlined and cannot be resuscitated.

Some people believe in the power and promise of biomedical research involving the humane use of animal models. Others oppose animal research and its inherent power and promise. To insist that there exists a legitimate debate between these two factions, over empirical proof, is a foolhardy notion.

The biomedical research community recognizes that virtually all medical advances of the last century resulted from animal research. The opposition, founded largely on an emotional response, speculates that animal research was not necessary to arrive at those historical advances.

Laboratory research on dogs and fish gave us insulin to treat diabetes. Opponents say the dogs and fish had nothing to do with the discovery of insulin but cannot prove that insulin would have been developed in their absence. The polio vaccine was developed following research on mice and monkeys. Take the mice and monkeys out of the equation, and where would the polio vaccine be? Clams and rats helped researchers illuminate the power of the MRI, a non-invasive imaging method for medical diagnosis. No clams, no rats: No MRI.

Posing the hypothetical question of whether or not these achievements of the last century could have been possible without animal research is the faulty logic. The fact is that modern society is immunized by vaccines, treated by medications, and saved by organ transplants. Researchers are constantly laboring to deliver effective treatments and cures for cancer, spinal cord injuries and diabetes.

Biomedical research boasts more than two centuries of illuminating discoveries. Development of the smallpox vaccine in 1796 was based on wo
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SOURCE Foundation for Biomedical Research
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